As Molapo is awarded Africa’s Best Referee Accolade, again
MASERU – National taekwondo female star, Michelle Tau, kicked her way to a Bronze Medal in the African Taekwondo Senior Championships held in Dakar, Senegal, from June 5 to 6.
Tau was unrelenting in Senegal over the past weekend as she fought to the semi-finals of the 2021 Dakar African Senior Championships where she walked away with the Bronze.
The Bronze Medal adds to her long list of accolades in the fin-weight where the female national champion has amassed silverware to fill her cabinet over the past years.
Tau, along with two other Lesotho taekwondo players, failed in a previous bid to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games in Japan. The other two fighters are Rethabile Tjotjo who fights in the 57kg division and Marumo Moloisane in the 58kg class.
The three lost their qualifying matches at the 2020 Taekwondo’s African Qualification Tournament held in Rabat, Morocco. The Olympic Games, which were scheduled for the summer of 2020, were suspended due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
The Games have since been postponed to July 23 until August 8 this year. Tau also has in her cabinet a Gold Medal from the 2019 Watt Wil Open 2019 Tournament in Switzerland, after winning a Silver Medal from the 2019 All Africa Games held in Rabat.
She further won a Gold Medal at the Landesmeisterschaft 2019 Taekwondo Tournament in Germany and another Gold Medal at the 38 International Creti Cup 2019 in Germany, before winning yet another Gold Medal at the Baden-Wurttembergischen Meisterschaften in the same year.
She competed at the 2019 Croatia Open and collected a Silver Medal.
Meanwhile, at the same Dakar event Lesotho international taekwondo referee, Moshoeshoe Molapo, was awarded Africa Best Referee Accolade for the second time.
In an interview Lesotho Taekwondo Association Public Relations Officer, Sek’hok’he Molikoe, applauded Molapo for the success and noted that he has truly raised the country’s flag high.
Molopo is also a First Class Referee in the sport, and one of the most decorated on the African continent.
Molapo, 47, is one of the country’s few First Class International Referees and has in turn produced five other international referees from Lesotho including the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF)’s Sergeant (Sgt) Mojapela ’Mefane who is now a Second Class International Referee.
The others are Kenang Letima, Lance Corporal Mokone Moahloli, retired Warrant Officer Likhama Leuta and Retired Colonel Teboho Ramoepana. Sgt ’Mefane officiated the 2019 Manchester, United Kingdom World Taekwondo Championships.
Molapo is the second Mosotho to officiate at the Olympics Games after LDF’s Brigadier Naha Kolisang who debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in Australia.
He has so far officiated two Olympic Games as an International Technical Official/International Taekwondo Referee at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the UK and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
He is the only Mosotho International Referee in all sporting activities to win Best World Referee Awards. Molapo won the first at the 2012 WTF World Taekwondo Team Cup and the second one at the WTF World Para-Taekwondo Games in the Caribbean Island of Aruba the same year.
He has also won another award at the 2016 1st African Para-Taekwondo Open in Agadir, Morocco and the African Junior Taekwondo Championship in Port Said, Egypt in the same year.